BETHESDA, Md. -- A wounded warrior believes losing both of his legs has made him a more positive person.
United States Army Sergeant Rob Easley, Jr., a former rugby player at Cumberland Valley High School, is currently recovering from wounds suffered last October when he stepped on a Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while out on foot patrol in southern Afghanistan.
He lost both of his legs making him a bilateral above knee amputee and sustained injuries to his right hand, as well; including partial amputation of his pointer, middle, and index fingers.
"I was always pretty negative," said Easley. "Everyone thought I was going to take (the injuries) terribly.
"Its been the exact opposite. I can't really explain it."
Armed with that new attitude, Sgt. Easley, 26, has been tediously re-learning many of the same movements we take for granted.
After the IED ripped through Easley's flesh and bones like thousands of tiny chainsaws, Easley's wife was shocked to see the man she married was a shell of his former self.
"Just to see him so tiny (without any legs) in a bed...it was hard," said Megan Easley.
Then came the really hard part: building Rob back up.
Easley spends roughly three hours a day rehabbing at the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Once he puts on his prosthetic legs, Easley goes to work: maneuvering around a track; shuffling from side to side; strengthening his core, which is crucial because he'll need even more muscle now to walk around.
There's countless of others like him at MATC, as well, missing arms and legs; yet helping each other deal with what's ahead.
"We've found the ability to interact with similar patients has been beneficial in all aspects," said Bradley Ritland, a therapy officer at Walter Reed.
An added boost?
Rob can't believe he's met LeBron James, Peyton Manning and Vice-President Joe Biden, among others.
Support from celebrities and strangers; friends and family? It all adds up.
"It's good to see him excelling and doing so well," said Megan Easley of her husband's spirits. "(He's) moving quickly and so determined."
That doesn't mean Rob's road to recovery has been easy -- it hasn't. And it's far from over, either.
Someday the power of positive thinking will help Sgt. Rob Easley walk -- and not roll -- out of Walter Reed for good.
When he does, he will leave a changed man.
I'm not going to let this beat me," said Easley.
"Life is certainly not over."